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J&J, Up 26% YTD, Gets After Image Problems

Ed Silverman

In the wake of scandals and investigations over manufacturing gaffes, countless product recalls and questionable marketing practices, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is embarking on a round of corporate soul searching. The health care giant is asking employees to take "reflect, reaffirm, question, challenge and share" their thoughts on the 70-year-old credo and then take a survey for the purpose of “identifying opportunities for improvement and action.”

The news was conveyed this morning to employees by J&J ceo Alex Gorsky and Peter Fasolo, worldwide vp for human resources and follows the recent launch of the first corporate image campaign in more than a decade. Ironically, the campaign was unveiled the same week that J&J encountered a production scandal in South Korea that may lead to criminal charges.

As noted many times, the J&J image has taken a severe beating over the past three years. During that time, J&J (JNJ) has experienced an outsized list of problems that have led to recalls of Tylenol, Motrin, Rolaids, Sudafed and Benadryl; K-Y Jelly; Acuvue contact lenses; syringes; hip replacement devices; the Topamax epilepsy med and glucose meters (earlier Pharma news covered a related patient death).

Despite the many flaps, J&J stock is up about 40% over the past year, well head of the broader market as measured by the S&P 500.

JNJ Chart

The J&J Ethicon unit last year halted marketing of four vaginal mesh implants that have been the subject of lawsuits filed by approximately 1,000 women who claims the products have caused serious internal injuries. And the healthcare giant also had difficulty stocking Tampons and the Nizoral anti-fungal shampoo , the only over-the-counter shampoo used to treat dandruff and psoriasis.

To read the remainder of this article, go to Pharmalot.

Ed Silverman, a contributing editor of YCharts, is the founder and editor of Pharmalot. He previously reported on the pharmaceutical industry and other business topics for the Star-Ledger of New Jersey, New York Newsday and Investor’s Business Daily. He can be reached at editor@ycharts.com.

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